Politics & Policy

The Silencing of Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright

What in the world is going on here?

I continue to be quite perplexed by a few things that are surely related: Where is Bill Ayers? Where is the Reverend Jeremiah Wright? They seem to have fallen off the face of the Earth. Why? How?

No two figures relating to Barack Obama have been talked about as much as Ayers and Wright. That being the case, why aren’t these two figures talking? Why is no one talking to them, or demanding to talk to them?

Have Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright been silenced? If so, who has silenced them, and how?

#ad#This is no minor, trivial point. I can’t recall a similar instance where two such controversial figures, so damaging to a presidential campaign, so quickly disappeared from the public eye. Conservatives often accused the Clintons of all kinds of nefarious deeds to quiet their detractors. Yet, Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers could always be hunted down for comment by reporters. But that’s not the case with Ayers and Wright.

The silence from Ayers and Wright calls into suspicion at least two groups: the mainstream media and the Obama-Biden campaign.

The mainstream media, not surprisingly, is yet again happily failing to do its job. It is doing cartwheels trying to devise the most ridiculous, transparent “gotcha” questions for Sarah Palin. Liberal journalists are literally digging through the closet of Governor Palin, not to mention rummaging through any skeletons in Cindy McCain’s closet.

It is inconceivable that liberal “journalists” would ignore right-wing equivalents to Ayers and Wright if they existed in John McCain’s background. Reporters from major dailies and weeklies have been pounding on the door of Sarah Palin’s innocent little church in Alaska for two months now. It’s a much shorter trip to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where no doubt someone has bumped into Rev. Wright recently, or has a thought on his whereabouts.

As is now obvious, the liberal press will do no such digging on Barack Obama. Our nation’s top journalists don’t want to find Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. They want Ayers and Wright to shut up, lest these two extremists hurt the media’s presidential nominee.

But what about the conservative press? And what about other journalists around the country, playing host to Obama-Biden campaign stops? Not every single one of the thousands of TV and print journalists in America are liberals who refuse to do objective, honest reporting. The Florida TV news anchor who read Karl Marx to Joe Biden is a case in point.

So, why haven’t any reporters — from the left to the right — thrust a microphone in front of Ayers or Wright? The answer is that they probably can’t find either man.

That answer may lead to a much more troubling possibility: Could it be that the Obama-Biden campaign has somehow silenced Ayers and Wright? If so, by what means? That’s a deeply disturbing thought for a ticket that soon could be running the world’s leading democracy, one that ought to be posed to not only Ayers and Wright but to the Obama-Biden campaign and to Senators Obama and Biden themselves.

I understand that Senator Obama is extremely cautious about interviews and fielding questions at campaign rallies — a pass that the liberal press is happy to give him, all the while demanding that Sarah Palin sit in a stockade. Still, there’s got to some way, by some enterprising reporter somewhere, to directly ask Barack Obama or Joe Biden or their campaign staff about this puzzling silence from Ayers and Wright.

Bill Ayers teaches at a major university in Illinois. Is he currently going into the office? Is he on sabbatical? What does the university have to say?

As for Jeremiah Wright, he was remarkably accessible during the Democratic primary. He sat for interviews. Bill Moyers spoke to him at length. Wright even addressed the National Press Club. He was an open book, holding forth on everything from Obama to black liberation theology.

Somehow, these two men seem to have vanished. What in the world is going on here?

– Paul Kengor is author of The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (HarperPerennial, 2007). His latest book is The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007).

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